I think that is a great idea. We need all the help we can get. I need to do
independent research on my family. I think many of these family trees are
wrong. I have a Great Great Great Grandfather, John VanPelt, married to
Catherine Lawrence. Every record has been repeated time after time saying
John's father was Jan Van Pelt and Catrina Bowman. These same records in
one place say his Jan's mother and father were Arte Teunis VanPelt and
Christyne Emmet and in another place( same) records say his father and
mother are Jan Jansen VanPelt and Aeltje Hoogland. I Can't imagine there
were 2 Jan VanPelts both married to a person with the same name.
Then to make matters a little more confusing, I ran across a distant
relative that had written records handed down the family that said "Great
Grandfather was John VanPelt married to Catherine Lawrence, and Great Great
Grandfather was Peter VanPelt married to Barbary. This fits Barbara
Houlton. John and Catherine's first born son was named Peter, first born
daughter named Mary. I would like to find Barbara Houlton's mothers first
name. Another of their children was Barbary.
I would really like to find some original records for this. I think the
mistake has been repeated many times.
I am out in CA. If there is anyone that I can write to I will. I know Barry
Schneck specializes in a different kind of law, but sometime he might want
to find out about his family. He is probably related to the early Schneck
family. As one of the Doctors told my husband of another Doctor. " He is
From: Saartje81(a)aol.com [mailto:Saartje81@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2000 11:21 AM
Subject: My crusade to open NYS archives
Greetings from snowy Manhattan!
As I have heard from a number of people and have privately answered
I will post this to the list as others might be thinking along the same
The Department of Health vitals held (hostage) by New York State ARE NOT
duplicates of those held by NYC at the Municipal Archives, although some of
them do overlap.
My own grandmother's birth certificate of 1891, for example, is not in
the MA, but was found in the microfiche index at NARA and the number duly
noted. Earlier this year when I was combing the old court records of Staten
Island that the MA controls, I stumbled on a State birth certificate and it
looks quite different than a City one.
In addition, I can state that I noted hundreds of DECKER records on the
microfiche index at NARA and then compared them to my records from the MA
I can say that roughly a third of the State records were duplicates, making
roughly TWO-THIRDS of them NEW! In any case, I want to look at them!!!
Many people have voiced their support, which is greatly appreciated.
People have expressed their desire to help, also appreciated.
NEW YORK STATE RESIDENTS: please write to your STATE Senator (NOT
Moynihan or Clinton! who are US Senators) and your Assemblyman/woman and
him/her to make NYS genealogist-friendly and specifically to change Public
Health Law Section 4174.
If you are out-of-state, urge New Yorkers you know to write.
Non-constituents tend to be ignored.
If this political avenue prooves unsuccessful, then I will investigate
the filing of a class-action suit. That MIGHT (I don't know yet) entail
people signing on. I am sure many people will volunteer. I will first look
for a pro-bono lawyer, someone who will take the case for free. The ACLU
seems like the place to start. If that fails, then I am quite certain a
retainer could be raised. But that's a long way down the road with much to
try before we get to that point. First things first.
Any New Yorkers wishing to write to a State Legislators has my
to adapt and use my letter or any part thereof.
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